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- Alexander, Lloyd — Taran Wanderer
I was determined to read #51 in one day. This one gets an asterisk, though. I only finished the first 172 of 218 pages before midnight. I would easily have finished it all before midnight if I hadn't spent a couple of hours playing on my brand-new laptop and hadn't also taken a nap in the evening. I finished all but the last 9 pages during the commute home. Besides having read the bulk of it in 2006, one other factor justifies its inclusion on the list for last year: I started this book challenge in Eastern Standard Time, not Greenwich Mean Time, and I did finish reading Taran Wanderer before 5 a.m. GMT, thus still 2006 in Boston.
Of course I chose Taran Wanderer because I thought there was a realistic chance I could finish it in one day. I knew I was going to be spending a bulk of the day commuting on buses or trains or waiting around for scheduled appointments, which translates into a lot of reading time. But I also chose Taran Wanderer because I've been wanting to read more of Taran's adventures for a while now.
Taran Wanderer is so far my favorite of the Chronicles of Prydain, which is ironic, since it's the only one of the five novels that didn't win some sort of award. I think maybe I like it more because it is the most introspective of the first four. I enjoy reading accounts of journeys of self-discovery, where the protagonist's eyes are turned inwards. Alexander did a marvellous job of keeping the story simple but incredibly rich and rewarding.
And so the year's reading comes full circle, as my book challenge both began and ended with a Lloyd Alexander novel. Now, off to bed I go, and when I wake up I'll start the new year with a new book for the new reading goal. Happy New Year everyone!